The COVID-19 pandemic is still limiting my food adventures, but with more vaccines given each day, I remain hopeful we can get back to that new normal sooner rather than later.
After running an errand (and staying socially distanced, of course), my mom and I saw the Happy Belly truck. With two other trucks having longer lines, I wanted to give Happy Belly some love this time.
And it already got bonus points for having a panda logo.
As the name suggests, Happy Belly's menu has a lot of heavy, greasy goodness. Most items have meat, usually breaded or fried. It's generally plate lunches, burgers, wraps, or tater tots.
One of the more popular food items is The Happy Mix ($15), which combines their Jumbo Shrimp Katsu with either Honey Sriracha Chicken or their Chicken Explosion. White rice and mixed greens on the side.
Speaking of which, I ordered the Chicken Explosion ($12), an Asian-style breaded chicken (it's basically chicken katsu) topped with unagi (eel) sauce and their signature house spicy sauce. White rice and mixed greens on the side.
Breading had excellent crunch, chicken still moist and tender. The unagi sauce and house spicy sauce provided added depth and some spice (mild for me). The dressing for the greens appeared to be maybe a sesame dressing, which I was a fan of. The breading even held up wonderfully and stayed crunchy even after I heated up leftovers in the microwave a few hours later.
Why did I have leftovers? I also ordered the Chimichurri Steak Wrap ($9), which had shredded steak, chimichurri, and mixed greens in a warm pita. Sour cream on the side.
I loved the concept of the wrap, and chimichurri is one of my favorites, especially when paired with beef. Steak was very juicy and tender, having more of a braised feel. For me, I would prefer steak sliced instead of shredded, but the flavor was great. Lovely warm pita toasted golden brown on the outside. I wish there was more chimichurri in the wrap; I barely had any in my portion.
I only realized that I could have added tots and a drink for $4 more after I left and re-read the menu. It would have made the meal a bit more complete, but hopefully I'll stop by again one day.
Overall, Happy Belly had good food and a fairly short wait time. Good service. Check them out if you're around the Pearlridge mall. 7.5/10